Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Orange NSW

We've just enjoyed a two night stay in beautiful Orange (Central West, NSW). Orange is a rich fruit growing region (but no oranges) has a population of around 40,000 and is a well developed cool climate wine region only 2 hours from Sydney, so there is plenty here to charm the visitor.

After a delicious lunch stop at Canowindra we were still keen to dine at Mr Lim in Orange on Sunday night, a very high end Asian fusion restaurant with a focus on local ingredients and wines.... And we were very impressed!
Monday morning was a very cold one in Orange, so we started slowly with a coffee and light breakfast at the Byng Street Local Store - this city has a serious addiction to coffee and the Local Store, just a few blocks up from where we were staying, was really buzzing this morning.  
We took a walk around historic Cook Park (established 1873) and admired the large aviaries full of parrots, the Blowes Conservatory (with just a winter remnant of its flowering begonia collection), the duck ponds, and …….. 
 the fernery …………. This morning the pond in the fernery was covered in sheets of ice (and this was by mid morning!!) ….
But the most beautiful part of Orange are the inner city streets of beautifully maintained and preserved late 19th century houses. We could have walked for hours just admiring them and learning more about their stories (something we'll do more of next visit).
We drove to Mt Canobolas about 13 kilometres SW of the city. We were told Mt Canobolas (1,390 metres) is the highest point between here and the West Coast of Australia.
We can see there's been a fire through here in the past few months. Most of the gum trees were springing new shoots but the road nearest the summit was blocked to cars because of the danger of fallen trees, so we didn't quite make it to the top.

We loved seeing the beautiful country around Orange, fertile, carefully cultivated, lots of orchards and vineyards.  It looked a bit like country France to us.

We'd enjoyed our Phillip Shaw Sauvignon Blanc with our meal at Mr Lim the previous night so we were looking forward to our visit to their cellar door, just to the south of the city in Shiralee Road.
This was a beautiful tasting experience - and alarmingly generous. The experience had its desired effect and we bought a half dozen bottles each to enjoy later (I enjoyed the Chardonnay and other whites from this vineyard). 
Rob was a very responsible driver (no wine for him) so we were lucky to be driven to the nearby village of Millthorpe after the vineyard visit. The village has been classified by the National Trust and is full of charm. We loved our late lunch at the Old Mill Café before setting out to find Brett Whiteley's Millthorpe retreat (up until his death in 1992).
We were delighted to see the matchstick sitting by the front door (a lovely reference to the entry to Whiteley's studio at 2 Raper Street in Surry Hills in Sydney). Whiteley lives on in Millthorpe thanks to the new owners of this house.  
It's hard to believe we've never visited this part of the world before - and it's only a four hour drive from Canberra. We're definitely going back to Orange one day!! 

1 comment:

davey said...

What beautiful countryside and houses. I wouldn't mind owning one of those ones in Orange!!
Glad to see everyone relaxed and happy xx